Boys track

Boone's Hogg brimming with running potential

2012-04-18T19:00:00Z 2012-04-19T06:07:35Z Boone's Hogg brimming with running potentialBy Jim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com

There are times when Boone Grove coach Bob Witt watches Jon Hogg run, looks at his timer and forgets how old the Wolves sophomore is.

"It's amazing," Witt said. "He's only 15. I've got freshmen who are older than him. I have to keep that in mind. He doesn't even drive."

After transferring from Hebron during the 2010-11 school year, Hogg played solely baseball last spring at Boone. Following a strong cross country season, Witt -- who's also Hogg's coach in the fall -- suggested he run track to improve his conditioning.

"People have always told me track is my best sport and I'd be dumb for not running, but baseball has always been my first love," Hogg said. "I did track in middle school and always enjoyed it, so it was in the back of my head that it was something I needed to do. I wasn't really happy with how baseball went last year, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to go with both."

Hogg now splits time between the two sports with track getting the nod when there is a non-conference overlap of events. On days when he is unable to get running in due to baseball, he puts in some mileage in the morning before school.

"It gets hectic every now and then, but it's working pretty well," Hogg said. "I get a lot of rides from friends and sister (Julie). I try to keep it 50-50, but the tables are shifting. A lot of people work, do everything they can, and just don't have the ability. It's a natural thing for me. I'm thankful to have been blessed with the ability to run like this and I think it would be a complete waste not to pursue it. "

Witt draws comparisons, at least in terms of physical stature, between Hogg, who's already 6-4, and LaPorte grad Mike Fout, a prep state champion now at Florida State. He believes if Hogg focused exclusively on running, he could qualify for state. Just the same, he's not complaining about the sharing scenario.

"I'm just happy to have him out," Witt said. "He's getting a little quicker. He works hard at doing both. He has the capabilities to be successful in track if he wants to. He has a lot of talent. He could probably do about any sport."

Hogg's main events are the 800 and 1,600, though Witt incorporates the 400 and an occasional 200 as he did in Tuesday's meet to make sure he gets in his speed work.

"Coach always gets blown away when I do repeats and I run the same times," Hogg said. "He says you just don't see it. I've just always been so consistent. People tell me I'm crazy, but there's just something about running that clicks in my mind. It's something I don't even know how to explain. I get in a zone."

With the meat of the schedule yet to come, Hogg's looking forward to where his progress leads him.

"It gets to crunch time, it's put up or shut up," he said. "It's always fun running the bigger schools, not even the fact you're the underdog, just how you feel better knowing you can stay with them. Obviously, everyone's goal is to get down to Bloomington. Coach is always saying I have the ability. It's just whether I set my mind to it, fully commit to it."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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